This is why I have trust issues with you

And myself.

September 2021 – Unseriously Sincere Ideas Write-Up #13

What up, chicos? Just real quick before I get into the real business on the agenda, I just wanted to direct you to watch a short YouTube VIDEO I MADE. That’s right, chums, I’m getting into YouTubing and I need you to subscribe to my channel, comment on my poor lighting and tell me how much you love or hate the vid using the thumb up or down feature.

This first one is on my vaccine hesitancy (reluctantly got first dose BTW) and then next week’s is on Afghanistan. Alright, enough housekeeping, let’s get to how I have trust issues with you all.

p.s. this is my 13th write-up since starting Unseriously Sincere Ideas, which means I’ve been going for a year, and I just wanted to thank you from all my hearts and diamonds and spades and clubs for your support. I owe you.

In 2014, I went to a four-hour workshop for affection-starved individuals to come together to look at each other in the eyes most deeply… and consenually cuddle each other most strangely. I still don’t think the article I wrote on the experience got nearly as much attention as it deserved but I’ve moved past it, I guess.

It was a big deal for me because I’m not a very affectionate person outside the bedroom. I don’t like being touched by people. I don’t enjoy exchanging platonic hugs. And in a society that loves to hug the shit out of each other, I was quietly relieved when the social distancing trend took over the earth recently.

Needless to say, the four hours I spent in that workshop–not only having to interact with people I don’t know but stare them in the eyes and touch them–were easily some of the most uncomfortable of my life.

As many of you know, I like to put myself in these sorts of uncomfortable situations because I believe the only way to overcome insecurities is to shove them into the spotlight to dance. My most dominant insecurity has always been in the way I interact with people and so I’ve been forcing my confidence issues to party since 2014.

I do like to think that people who read my cringe-worthy experiences don’t just laugh their heads off at me but are also inspired to take action to overcome some of their own little wimp issues.

Feeling weird and/or uncomfortable makes people more self-aware, more socially aware, more empathetic to the world and more gentle on themselves. And sometimes, it’s only by doing this weird and/or uncomfortable stuff that you’re actually even able to work out where your little wimp resides.

You see, I’ve done things like make a solo trip to Afghanistan, visit a mormon church in London, spend time with a fabulous gay make-up artist in India, but until recently I’ve always thought the challenge was in doing the things I do. I thought it was in the forcing myself out the door and throwing myself into the cuddle puddle party.

But it struck me recently that, despite the fact Afghanistan felt like more of a risk to my personal safety than mingling with mormons did, none of the things I ever do really feel like major leaps from each other when it comes to my comfort levels.

That’s because my personal challenge is not in the doing of any of these things, it’s actually in the having to look at other human beings in the eyes. It’s the interaction I know I’m going to have to have with naked people. It’s the psychological safety net I’m going to have to sacrifice in standing in front of a crowd.

It doesn’t matter if the person is an Afghan business man who invited me for lunch in Kabul or one of my fellow naked life-drawing models in Westminster, I am likely always going to feel vulnerable around people I don’t know or trust. Including myself. Especially myself.

What I’ve learnt by doing all this stuff over the years is that I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust myself to not attract ridicule and criticism from like, being myself.

This is often the case with people who are disengaged from the world around them, people who move around avoiding eye contact with strangers on the street. When we do this, it makes us unaware of other people’s smiles, their interest in us or their kind gestures. People like me have trouble getting out of the insecurities in our heads and so we make a lot of dumb assumptions about strangers because they’re part of a world that can sometimes make us feel unsafe.

I get it. Look:

Always and forever a weird one.

As a bit of a weird one, I’ve always had a tendency to unintentionally make things awkward for people or stick my head up and get shot at. This has created a hard-to-shake sense that I’m not psychologically safe to get about the world being myself. All sorts of experiences in my life have led me to suffering under the wrath of embarrassment or people’s “friendly” taunts.

I mean, I don’t feel like a victim or anything, I hope I don’t come off that way. I’m fine, man. I just like knowing why I kinda suck at relaxing in front of people so I can keep working on getting better at it.

And this is what Comfort is for Wimps is all about. By continually spending time with, or performing in front of, or flashing my boobs at, people, the more opportunity I have to practice being myself and getting away with it.

I believe that the best way to resolve trust issues is to learn to trust yourself. We must learn to trust our interactions with people despite knowing we may get hurt, feel embarrassed, have to look them in the eyes, or cuddle them.

It’s only in opening our minds and letting a few flies in that we’re able to create relationships, spot opportunities and get more comfortable in our slippery little skins.

This all lends itself to a way more fulfilled life than thinking everyone else is a weirdo or will disappoint or embarrass you. You start to believe it’s their fault for being unable to accept you, when really, it’s just you struggling to accept your imperfect self.

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”

Frank Crane

News flash.

It helps to remember that everyone is all pretty bloody damn imperfect, too. And it’s only in getting close enough to people that you are able to learn that they’re also hung up on the fact that they were bullied as kids. They still get sad about the fact their father left the family for the mail women. They hate their buck teeth because they think everyone else does. They’re feet stink.

It’s nice to realise that we all feel like misfits every now and then. So, go talk to a stranger. Make a friend. Find your bully on Facebook. Share this article.

That’s all from me today, over and out chicos.

Jess from Comfort is for Wimps

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